Monday, April 4, 2016

Task force findings on the Flint Water Crisis

More than a week ago, I promised "entries about the second most read post of the past year, the Sunday entertainment entry, a humorous take on nuclear meltdowns, and an update on the Flint Water Crisis."  I've taken care of all of those except the very last, a follow-up of sorts to Snyder testifies before Congress about the Flint Water Crisis.  It's well past time to follow through.

I begin with WOOD-TV's report, Inquiry: State “fundamentally accountable” for Flint crisis.

An investigation has found that the state of Michigan is “fundamentally accountable” for Flint’s lead-contaminated water crisis.
The panel minced no words about how bad the situation was and still is and who was to blame.  The key finding from my perspective was that the Emergency Manager Law needed to be modified.  I thought so back in 2011, when I wrote "The solutions devised here will be exported, including the bad ones."  One of the worst was the Emergency Manager Law.  When the Emergency Manager took over, he eliminated the Pontiac Police Department and replaced it with Oakland County Sheriffs.  In 2012, the Emergency Manager Law was repealed by a vote of the people.  That didn't matter to the legislature, who passed a new version in the lame duck session a few months later.  It may take this crisis four years later to convince lawmakers to change the law so man-made disasters like this don't happen again.  Or not--I'm not optimistic about the current crop of legislators.

Follow over the jump for WXYZ's reports.

WXYZ had a much clearer list of findings, but concentrated on the actions of the Emergency Manager himself, not the law that put him in power, in Water task force releases findings.

The task force appointed by Governor Rick Snnyder has released their findings surrounding the Flint water crisis.
Here's the second half of the report that was teased above: Credibility of task force's report questions.

There are questions being raised about the credibility of the report by the Flint water crisis task force.
I see the concerns about the task force's independence, not necessarily the credibility of its findings.  The conclusions look about right to me.  Still, this whole issue appears to be a failure of transparency, accountability, and local empowerment.  As for the distinction between "environmental injustice" and "environmental racism," if the test is effect and not intent, there is no real difference.

Stay tuned.  I'm sure I'll have more, including the effects the crisis has had on Snyder's favorability ratings.

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